New generation artist Yirrmal Marika, from Yirrkala, has made a refreshing entrance into the music scene. Inspired by his grandfather, Dr Yunupingu, former lead singer of Yothu Yindi, he fuses traditional and contemporary arrangements with class and passion. Yirrmal is an inspiring songwriter and guitarist with a beautiful voice, singing songs about his homeland and culture with feeling and depth beyond his years.
Yirrmal is related to Dr G Yunupingu on his mother’s side, and his father, Witiyana Marika, was a singer and dancer in Yothu Yindi. He has extensive knowledge of traditional Yolngu “Manikay” songs, and he is also an excellent dancer and didgeridoo “yidaki” players. Yirrmal is connecting a newfound sound and engaging the hearts of all who are lucky enough to hear him.
Recent career highlights include performing at the Northern Territory NAIDOC Week concert and NAIDOC Ball, the 2015 National Indigenous Music Awards, Garma Festivals, New Zealand Music Festival and Singapore and Taipei Music Festivals with the Black Arm Band, 2015 Nannup Music Festival, BluesFest Tour Shows 2016 and the 2016 Brunswick Music Festival. Some upcoming performances include the 2016 Woodford Music Festival, the 2017 Port Fairy Folk Festival and he will perform at the Sydney and Adelaide Festivals in a concert which marks the 50th year anniversary of the Referendum – 1967: Songs in the Key of Yes.
Yirrmal has lived in Geelong for the past five years where he has been continuing his education and participating in the Marrma’ Rom Two Worlds Leadership Program. He aims to set an example for Indigenous youth and to be a strong, positive role-model for the young generation. Yirrmal has been working with mentors Neil Murray, Shane Howard, Archie Roach and Steve Teakle and his EP will be launched in November 2016.